There is something enigmatic about the high worker turnover that is typical for the Lao clothing industry (on average 40-60% annually).
Take the example of Alpilao, one of the largest and best organised companies in the sector. Founded in 1991 by Italians Lenzi Gianmatteo and Fidelio Castellano, Alpilao employs 1,700 people in three factories in Vientiane. Production capacity amounts to 250,000 pieces per month of sweat shirts, T-shirts and other knitted articles.
Headquarters are in Bangkok, where materials are sourced from Thailand and China and where an Italian designer is in permanent creative discussion with customers like Benetton, Next, El Corte Ingles and Geox.
For the full story, see the May 2013 edition of Textiles South East Asia. Not a subscriber? Subscribe HERE